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Total Defense Rating - Week 9


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Ok, I've created a total defense rating to go along with the total offense rating. This one might be a little bit more controversial.

Exactly the same concept, it's based on points allowed per possession, with a few tweaks.

1. All FG attempted are considered made.

2. Turnovers count as two possessions.

3. Defensive points scored are subtracted from the points allowed.

4. Field position is accounted for in the same way as with the offensive rating. Reference that post if you are interested, it's a bit long for me to explain again.

The lower the rating the better. A defense that allows a TD on every possession would be rated 1000. A defense that makes a stop on every possesssion would be rated a 0. A defense that scored a defensive TD on every possession would have a - 500 rating.

Nobody should be surprised that my rating shows the Chicago Bears as by far the best defense this year. I don't believe it is in any way debatable at this point.

The Falcons come in at 8, which I think is about right. They actually have the best starting field position in the league on defense, and adjustment that dropped them down from 7th without it.

The biggest surprise in these ratings will be the Pittsburgh Steelers. They are number 1 in the NFL in total defense, but number 22 in these ratings. I'll have some 'splainin to do, but am prepared to do so.



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I guess the other big surprise would be Tampa being as high as they are.

With Pittsburgh, there are several reasons their rating is so low:

1. Pittsburgh's offense is the best in the league this year at converting 3rd downs and burning clock, resulting in Pittsburgh's defense facing the fewest possession in the league.

2. Pittsburgh has actually given up 30 scores (16 TD, 14 FG) in 74 possessions. By comparison, the Falcons have given up 26 scores (16 TD, 10 FG) in 80 possessions.

3. The Steelers have forced only 8 turnovers this year with no defensive scores.

With Tampa - they've forced 17 turnovers this year, and they've played some very crazy games (NYG, NO, Oak) with tons of possessions....94 total They also have two pick sixes, which helped their rating a big.

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I'm not sure if you equated this with your offense ranks, but did you (I'm sure it's nearly impossible) factor in penalties? 3rd and 2 > false start > 3rd and 7 > 4 yard gain > punt?

No, I didn't. But...some of those things get worked in generically, because if you do those things, you are much more likely to give up a score.

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The difference between Bears Defense and others is huge. Makes you wonder if they really need to depend on Offense to win the game.

It's true, but I can't see them keeping up that pace.

I can't see the Bears forcing 56 turnovers and scoring 14 TDs this year. The NFL record is 9.

So let's hope they get it out of their system.

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